If you have been lucky enough to enjoy a holiday in Rhodes, or even researched the island, you’ll know about its amazing history.
However, many people don’t realise that Rhodes also has a rich cinematic history. Unsurpisingly, the island’s beautiful setting has made it a popular choice over the years as a filming location among directors. As a result, some of the world’s most famous actors have filmed in Rhodes.
Here we count down the ten biggest film stars to have filmed in Rhodes. As we will see, the island left a lasting impression on some of them…
10. Ben Kingsley (Pascali’s Island, 1988)
Just beating Game of Thrones star Charles Dance, who co-starred in 1988’s Pascali’s Island, onto our list is Oscar-winner Ben Kingsley. He plays the titular character, a spy based on a fictional Greek island who has to investigate when a suspicious British character arrives. Kingsley had won an Oscar six years earlier for his portrayal of Gandhi. He’s since appeared in Schindler’s List and Iron Man 3, among others. Kingsley was knighted in 2002 for his services to the film industry.
9. Gregory Peck (The Guns of Navarone, 1961)
One of the most popular film stars in the 1940s-1960s, American actor Gregory Peck travelled to Rhodes for the classic war film The Guns of Navarone. Unfortunately, however, due to a miscommunication Peck had been cast as a spy fluent in German. He didn’t speak German, so a voice actor had to dub all his German lines.
8. Anthony Quayle (The Guns of Navarone, 1961)
Another iconic actor to star in The Guns of Navarone, Quayle served as an army officer during the Second World War, which meant he was often cast as a British war officer, as in his Rhodes appearance. Soon after this film he starred in Lawrence of Arabia and The Fall of the Roman Empire.
7. Anthony Hopkins (Peter and Paul, 1981)
Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins played Paul of Tarsus in Biblical drama Peter and Paul. He would go on to become known worldwide for his roles as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs and Odin in Thor.
6. Kenneth Branagh (High Season, 1987)
Best known for his roles in film adaptations of Shakespeare plays such as Henry V, Othello and Hamlet, Northern Irish actor Kenneth Branagh starred in this 80s romantic comedy set in Rhodes. His character becomes involved in a complicated love triangle as he falls for a divorced photographer despite arriving on the island with his wife.
5. David Niven (The Guns of Navarone, 1961; Escape to Athens, 1979).
David Niven filmed two major films in Rhodes. He first starred in the aforementioned classic The Guns of Navarone in 1961 – he almost died during filming after falling seriously ill – and returned two decades later for Escape to Athens, another iconic war film. Niven had earlier starred in Around the World in 80 Days and featured in The Pink Panther between his two Rhodes movies.
4. Anthony Quinn (The Guns of Navarone, 1961)
The Mexican-American actor fell in love with Rhodes so much while filming The Guns of Navarone – he played a Greek colonel – that he tried to buy his own bay on the island and call it ‘Anthony Quinn Bay’. He eventually planned to create an international centre for film-makers and artists at the bay, and the Greek government was supportive due to Quinn’s part in boosting Rhodes’ reputation worldwide – the film had helped cement the island as a popular tourist destination.
Unfortunately, legal complications meant Anthony Quinn Bay never came to pass, much to his disappointment. Though Quinn died in 2001, his spouse is still trying to carry on his wishes.
3. Helen Mirren (Pascali’s Island, 1988)
One of the very few actors to have won the Triple Crown of Acting – an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony award – Helen Mirren’s most famous role was as Elizabeth II in The Queen. She plays Lydia, a bohemian painter, in Pascali’s Island.
2. Sophia Loren (Boy on a Dolphin, 1957)
The iconic Italian actress, singer and sex symbol made her first appearance in an English-language film as the lead character in Boy on a Dolphin. She plays Phaedra, a poor diver who one day finds an ancient statue of a boy riding a dolphin. Unsurprisingly, the statue soon attracts two potential buyers, both of whom try to win Phaedra’s heart in order to get their hands on the statue. This classic love film is also notable for being the first Hollywood movie filmed in Greece.
1. Roger Moore (Escape to Athens, 1979)
At number one, and just edging out some stiff competition, is former #007 James Bond Roger Moore. The legendary actor, who starred in seven bond films around his Rhodes appearance, played a Nazi camp commander in the war film Escape to Athens.
Like Anthony Quayle, Moore had real war experience, having been conscripted to serve in the Second World War aged just 18. He got his acting break through a very unlikely route: his father, a policeman, was investigating a robbery at the house of director Brian Desmond Hurst and introduced his son, an aspiring actor. The rest, as they say, is history.
Why not follow in the footsteps of some of the world's most famous faces by coming to Rhodes? AutoRhodes provide affordable, high-quality car hire in Rhodes.